After a heart wrenching break up or a series of challenging relationships, we often find ourselves becoming lost in the ugly mire of projecting negative thought patterns on the world around us and onto the being within us. How many of us have witnessed ourselves thinking “love does not really exist”…. “relationships are an illusion”….. “I will never find anyone”….
Although it may be deemed a natural response to move through this cycle of thought patterns, it is in the end (as we may realize), both unhealthy and limiting.
Yet how do we overcome this mindset and become better at handling these post breakup stages (without shutting down our minds and emotions completely)? And, in the end, how do we create a clear pathway to move forward, so that we are not 1) carrying the dented baggage (thoughts, feelings, ego whisperings) forward 2) painting the world around us in greys (refusing to see any hope) 3) falling back into the same relationship patterns with those who could be a double of our ex (either internally or physically)?
When we feel that something within us has broken due to our “breakup”, it is time for us to take charge of ourselves and ensure that both our sanity and confidence come out intact. That once we are ready, if we choose, that next relationship will really have a chance and so will our hearts.
Relationship Rehab – A few tips for Rehabbing Your Heart After a Break up:
1) The Blame Game: The mind’s common response to a breakup is to place blame, whether it is assigned to yourself, to your ex or even to an outside influence. Blame is a powerful nemesis, masquerading as your mind’s answer to your heart’s question of “why?”, when in the end it is pointless and serves no constructive purpose.
When you find yourself playing the break up blame game, try a new tactic: realize that relationships are based on a diverse range of energetic, physical and inner chemical cocktails, i.e. you + your partner = resulting cocktail. Some cocktails are sweet, some are sour, some elements don’t mix well (energetically, or physically) and some only blend for a moment before separating again (think of oil and water). The idea is that it is the combination of the two of you as individuals summing to create a “partnership” that did not work in the end; this does not mean that the individual elements are to blame.
Yes of course, the break up may have been ugly for some, and actions leading up to it may have been wounding for others, however to finally let these lacerations heal, we must see the entire picture, face the hurts and let go of the individual fault, realizing that in the end the components you each brought to the relationship did not balance out in the way to make it lasting.
2) Life Beyond the Rut: Often drawn to the familiar, many people remain locked in damaging cycles, magnetically drawing to themselves the same experience or type of partner. The term “stuck in a rut” fits here, the question to be posed is “have you decided to move furniture into the rut, trying to make it more comfortable to remain in? or would you like to finally get out?”.
During your healing phase of your breakup a powerful exercise is to go through a process of seeing what cycles and patterns you have repeated. For some, it will be glaring, while others may have to seek a bit deeper through their inner self and memories to understand the patterns. For those who do reveal a series of parallel distasteful experiences, repeatedly displaying themselves through the type of partner you have connected with, it is time to stand up and say “enough”.
Recognizing the familiar is not always nourishing, awaken to the awareness that this cycle may be demonstrating a variety of things such as – emotional gaps within, insecurities, need for approval, and a sense of false security. Armed with this new self awareness, consider the things you can do for yourself to meet and heal these needs, while remaining aware of not falling back on the familiar once again simply to re-enter the rut.
3) Inventory of Expectations: We all have them, whether we confess to it or not, expectations and individual perspectives shade our interactions with others in all our personal relationships. These expectations may range from expected responses, styles of comfort, ways of loving to even the commitment to “non attachment” which you then “expect” the other to adhere to as well. Some may judge the concept of expectation in a relationship as unhealthy, however, realistically every relationship holds some type of exchange between the two partners, allowing them to trust in the other and in the dynamic dance they create together.
Storms in relationships arise, when the expectations are not clearly understood and expressed, when they remain hidden behind faltering smiles or perhaps are not even recognized by the person who holds them. If you do not know what you want, desire and hope to have in a relationship and partner (yes, those are a manner of expectation), then how can you truly have the ability and courage to express it?
Before you re-emerge into the realm of intimate connections, ensure you spend some time understanding your innermost desires and dreams for a partnership. Realize where you may not have been aware of your expectations in your last relationship (and if needed, forgive yourself for not having been cognizant of them). While you become more aware of your unique mixture of needs and yearnings, remain flexible and open, realizing that your expectations may shift and change as you move forward, but the key is to understanding what they are and being able to express them clearly and lovingly.
Relationship Rehab is really about clearing the clutter from your entire system and giving yourself permission, courage, ability and the love to go back out into the world and create a new fulfilling exchange.
For those who would like to get started in healing today, consider:
- Spending time with yourself in conversation, e.g. take yourself for coffee and listen to what’s happening inside, sit with a notebook and write down the feelings you are experiencing. Simply listen to the intelligent voice within, it has many things to share.
- Care for entire being, do something for yourself that you would have liked someone to do for you. Taking yourself for dinner and a movie can be an amazing self connective experience.
- Replace obsessive bliss diminishing thoughts and emotions with new possibilities and excitement for the future. Creating a new bucket list to look forward to is a powerful tool.
- Stop focusing on blame and shame. The relationship has ended and as you release it, release any of the negative emotions along with it. Some people find writing down the emotions and thoughts on a sheet of paper and burning them a fantastic relief.
- Have fun. Easy as it may sound, this can be a challenging aspect, but the world is a playground and the more you ease back into seeing it through the eyes of a child with fresh wonder and excitement, the more open you are to new fantastic adventures.
In the end, relationships are an integral part of our human experience, allowing us to connect intimately with one another, mixing our colours to create new shades of being. Understanding and celebrating the colours you bring to a relationship (seeing yourself and desires), while ensuring they remain clear of any smudges (releasing blame and hurts) from the past and opening to new nourishing experiences (ending old cycles) will allow you to savour the bliss that these intimate experiences can bring your body, mind and heart.
View the upcoming Relationship Rehab workshop at www.spiritedfemale.com!